Vaccination step as unvaccinated scramble to get jab

The Ministry of Health will step up its vaccination program in Honiara City as people scrambled in past days to get their jabs in view of the current covid-19 outbreak in the capital.

Solomon Islands has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the world with a little over 20 percent of eligible people being fully vaccinated in the last 18 months.

The outbreak that started last week triggered a vaccination rush in Honiara as the large population that were reluctant to get vaccinated feared getting infected with covid-19.

Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare on Monday said the focus now is on containment of the outbreak and caring for the sick as health authorities do not have enough resources to step up vaccination.

“I am aware that many of you are now asking for vaccination. I have always stated that if we have community transmission, our focus changes to containment of the outbreak and caring for the sick. We would not have resources to step up vaccination,” he said.

Sogavare, however, said the health team has agreed to step up focused vaccination programs, which will target certain groups such as frontline workers, leaders and police personnel before the general population.

The targeted vaccination program began yesterday with frontline workers including police, health workers, national leaders and senior government officials. They were provide booster doses for persons that had completed 2nd doses up to 31 August last year. Those that require first and second doses were also jabbed.

The Ministry of health will publish a vaccination program for communities on social media platforms during vaccination days to inform communities of their vaccination times and locations.

“I ask everyone who is eligible to go to these mobile vaccination clinics. Please do not miss these opportunities. We have community transmission of COVID-19. It will remain with us for a lengthy period. Protect yourself and your family so get vaccinated,” Sogavare said.

Vaccination programs will also be stepped up again in all provinces.

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